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BJP must safeguard land and job of J&K’s permanent residents: NC

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Jammu: National Conference leader Devender Singh Rana appealed to the BJP and the Jammu and Kashmir administration on Saturday to come up with a road map for safeguarding land, job and seats in professional colleges for the permanent residents of the Union Territory.

Rana said some of the recent moves, especially the new domicile rules, have caused concern and apprehensions in the minds of the people, but added that his party would remain at the forefront to ensure that their lands and jobs are protected.

“Repeated assurances and rhetorical statements by Jammu BJP leaders that lands and jobs of the permanent residents will be preserved exclusively for them (permanent residents) have turned out hollow and bereft of facts on the ground,” the Jammu provincial president of the NC said.

He said the BJP leaders should clean up these issues and stick to their commitments made to the people with regard to preservation of their rights vis-a-vis land and job in Jammu and Kashmir.

“Government must come up with a pragmatic mechanism to address these important matters in tandem with the sentiments and aspirations of the people of J&K, who are genuinely feeling a sense of denial, deprivation and politico-economic disempowerment,” he said.

Rana described job eligibility and ownership of land as the most “emotive and sensitive” issue and said ambiguity on the part of the government in the backdrop of promises made by the BJP top leadership from time to time, has added to the concern of the people.

“The governments, both at the Centre and here, are not walking the talk, which is evident by the issuance of domicile rules and their implementation that have potential to push the permanent residents to the wall. The people want guarantee on the safeguard to land and jobs for the bona fide permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir,” he stressed.

The provincial president said the domicile rules have put a question mark on the future of local educated youth, who are already facing the brunt of burgeoning unemployment.

“This concern should, in fact, have been addressed by the government on priority and much earlier but the element of continued dilemma is making the young restive,” he said.

Rana claimed a widespread apprehension was growing among permanent residents about their land as they feared outsiders would “usurp” it at the strength of their affluence.

He assured the people, especially the youth, that the National Conference would continue to take up their cause.

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